“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5.7).
Mercy is the deep emotion triggered within us when we see the plight of those around us; the infirmity of their sin tangled around their necks. But it is not an emotion that lies dormant. It manifests itself in doing something about that condition. It is a “powerful pity” that seeks to bring remedy. Sometimes mercy is in the form of understanding and a tear shared. At other times it is found in giving direction and guidance to the one trapped – me and you. Mercy must never be understood to be passive or permissive. Sometimes the most merciful thing I can do is “shoot straight” with a friend who is trapped in a particular pattern of behavior and point him in a new way.
Mercy is often confused with “grace”. It is actually more closely related to “compassion”. In the case of God it was His mercy-compassion that paved the way for Him to extend grace to us. His deep mercies drew Him to redeem us; to pay the price of our sin. With sin out of the way He now gives us grace and “favor”; the favor of an intimate union with Himself – the Creator God of all mercy. So … “Blessed are the compassionate for they shall receive compassion.”